Receivable/Accounts - Information for Credit and Collection Issues

Friday, January 6, 2023

An OCD Way To Manage Collection Calls

One of the things, I’m fairly certain, that has helped me over the years in collections is an OCD or fanatically methodical method to managing accounts.  Here’s an overview of how I have scheduled files for calls over the years, and still do.  It works well for maintaining high performance on a portfolio.

ALLING FILES – every three business days, skipping over holidays, days off, or what have you.  When working the files for the day, looking at the last time called, and if it were a morning call, make the next one an afternoon call.  By calling every three business days, you won’t call the person every Monday, for example, maintain a sense of urgency, and rotate your inventory.

ALL BACKS – Obviously call the consumer back right away!  But if you get a voicemail, a post-it from a co-worker, or an email, make that a top priority.

O ANSWER CALLS – If you are not managing a large number of files, don’t diarize no answer calls – leave them for today, and when you complete your first run through your scheduled calls, go back and try the no answer calls again.

VENING OR SATURDAY CALLS – If you are working a late night, after 6pm, pull up all your Avoids Contact or No Contact files not worked in 3 days and make them your priority to reach out after business hours.

REMINDERS FOR UPCOMING PAYMENT – if a debtor says they are going to pay the account in more than 3 days, schedule the file for a reminder call the day before the payment.  Call the debtor or leave a message where you can reminding them of your scheduled arrangement on ‘X’ date.

OSITIVE REINFORCEMENT OF PAYMENTS – If a debtor is making regular payments by post-dated cheque, EFT, credit card, or what have you, call the debtor the day after the payment with a positive reinforcement call.  ‘Bob, I see here you have paid another $100 yesterday, bringing your total paid to $3300 and a remaining balance of $854.60, and your next payment is January 31st.  Do you have any questions?’  By doing this, you keep the debt top of mind, and if a number goes out of service or a debtor is struggling you know that now, not when the payment bounces.

SF OR BOUNCED PAYMENTS – Obviously, call the consumer the day after the bounced payment, and follow up on a three business day turnover.

ALLING POSSIBLE LEADS – When calling a trace file with possible numbers, you don’t need to hammer away at those every three business days – put those on a 10 business day turnover, and remember not to escalate the tone of your message – you might not have the right contact number for the consumer!

EVIEW FILES – With broken arrangements, uncooperative debtors, or consumers that avoid contact rather than simply giving up, I put the file on a 90 day turnover for a review call.  ‘Bob, I’m just updating your file for the credit bureau and your balance with interest, have you filed for a consumer proposal, bankruptcy, or anything I should be aware of?  Do you have any questions?’

hen you manage your accounts in this way, you have effectively a logic flow chart for how files will move forward after calling, based on different scenarios.  On a larger scale, you can manage whole teams like this, and start tweaking your calling schedule based on volumes, balances, and liquidation – how many times do you call a file?  Do you move from a three business day turnover to four?  These are things that can fine tune a team and deliver maximum results.

ot any questions?  Feel free to drop me a line at

Thanks kindly,

lair DeMarco-Wettlaufer
KINGSTON Data & Credit
ambridge, Ontario